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Why Early Dental Care Is Important for Your Children

Happy child sitting in a dental office.

As a parent, there is nothing more important to you than your children’s health. This, of course, includes their oral health, as the health of their teeth and gums is closely linked with their overall health. In fact, children with poor oral health miss more school and receive lower grades than other children. Also, about 20% of children between the ages of five and eleven have at least one untreated cavity.

Your children’s dental health needs to be a top priority from the moment they get their first tooth. One way to ensure your children have happy and healthy smiles is to make dental hygiene an essential part of their daily routine from a very young age. Additionally, it is essential to take your kids for periodic oral check-ups to ensure their tiny teeth are healthy and getting the care they deserve. Read on to learn more about why pediatric dental care is important for your little ones, what to expect from dental visits, and how to help your children overcome dental anxiety.

4 Benefits of Pediatric Dental Care

The earlier your children start getting preventive dental check-ups, the healthier their oral cavities will be as they age. Periodic visits also allow kids to get comfortable visiting the dentist’s office. Some other benefits of early dental care include:

Caregiver Assistance

An important part of your pediatric dental care is the dental hygiene care children receive at home every day. Your pediatric dentist can act as your dental guide, providing you with helpful tips to promote oral hygiene and prevent dental diseases. From dietary advice to helping you deal with issues like teething and teeth grinding, an experienced pediatric dentist can help you stay on top of your child’s dental health.

Good Oral Habits

Children are easily influenced by their surroundings in their early years. So, you need to take advantage of your little one’s formative years and teach them healthy dental practices. This will not only prevent many dental complications when they are older but also save you a lot of money in the long run. Periodic dental visits are a great way to let your kid learn the correct way to use a toothbrush, floss properly, and take a proactive role in their oral care.

Tracking Dental Health

One of the major advantages of pediatric dental services is that you can discover any abnormalities in their teeth or gums at an early stage. If they are on their way to developing malocclusion or poor bite, you can take active steps to reduce its impact and lessen the need for expensive orthodontic treatment later in life.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Lack of proper dental care can lead to dental cavities and tooth decay which can be very painful. All this can be avoided with routine pediatric dental checkups. If your child is at high risk for tooth decay, in addition to monitoring and treating cavities, pediatric dentists will also take measures to protect their teeth including topical fluoride applications and sealants.

What to Expect at Your First Pediatric Dental Visit

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every child should visit a dentist at least once by the time they are a year old. From age two, there needs to be a standard dental checkup every six months. Between the ages of 4 and 6, you can expect a full mouth x-ray to check for cavities hiding between the teeth.

Most likely, your child will see a dentist for regular check-ups to monitor their teeth and jaw growth, as well as how well they are caring for her teeth and gums.

It is important to take good care of your child's teeth with healthy eating and good dental hygiene, which you can learn from your child's dentist.

Your child’s pediatric dentist will also:

  • Clean your child’s teeth

  • Prevent decay by using fluoride and dental sealants

  • Repair decayed or damaged teeth

  • Provide treatment for gum disease

  • Extract teeth

  • Mold custom mouth guards for your child’s sports activities

Tips to Manage Your Child's Fear of the Dentist

Mother playing dentist with her daughter

Fear of the dentist is more common than you might think! In fact, almost 20% of children are scared of the dentist. It can be difficult for everyone involved when kids are scared of the dentist, and sometimes that fear transfers into adulthood. Despite this, you can turn dentist appointments into a pleasant experience with some patience and perseverance.

Here are some tips for easing your child's fear of the dentist ahead of their next appointment.

Before Their Appointment Drop By the Office

A lot of times, children become afraid simply because they are in a new environment. By letting your child meet the team and see the environment, you can possibly eliminate this factor.

When your child gets to know the people caring for their teeth, they will feel less anxious and more comfortable during their actual appointment.

Play Dentist at Home

You will find that your child will be more at ease at their appointment if he or she is comfortable with the experience already. In addition to bringing them in before the big day, you should also practice at home, so they know what to expect from their dental visit.

Pretend to be a dentist to your little one. Use a mirror and your hands or some spoons to represent the dental instruments and show them how their teeth will be checked.

Attend Your Dental Appointment with Them

As a role model, you inspire your children and show them that they are capable. Bring your child along to the dentist when you have a checkup, so they can see what the dentist does. They can see how friendly everyone is and how there’s nothing scary to worry about.

Be Patient

The first visit will always be the hardest for kids. Children often let out their frustrations by throwing tantrums and crying, which can test your patience.

If your child needs you, be empathetic, patient, and understanding, but also be ready to step back if the dentist feels that your child needs some space to settle down. Pediatric dentists have years of training and experience working with young patients, so you can put your trust in their judgment.

We Turn Frowns into Healthy Smiles

It is common for children to fear the dentist, but it doesn't need to last forever! At The Children’s Dental Center, we always strive to turn our patients’ dental appointments into a fun experience.

Is it time for your child to visit the dentist? We are always accepting new patients. Contact us today to book your little one’s next appointment.

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